Social nets can narrow-cast to wide group
Deciding Between COBOLs for Migration

Partners assemble at Community Meet

In another era we might have called them vendors, but the attendees at this month's e3000 Community Meet came together as partners. The 40 people who assembled at the San Francisco Airport Hyatt have been working together, or have that potential in the years to come when the terms users and vendors don't fit like they once did. Only three of the group could be called "users" in the old term. But those terms are "being deprecated," as old software like Java/iX has done. When HP steps out of the 3000 room in about 15 months, the phrase third-party won't even be accurate to describe the companies and experts who talked and listened all day on Sept. 23.

In a unique beginning, the master of ceremonies Alan Yeo invited everyone present at the start of the day to introduce themselves. We got almost everybody on our hand-held video camera to record the players who were taking the stage. We're introducing this video resource via a fresh 3000 NewsWire channel on YouTube, the world's steaming pile of entertainment, advertising, comedy, and frothing dissent. Of those four, only good humor was on tap in the e3000 meeting room. (There was dissent, but of the kind that doesn't end discussions or ruin chances to partner.)

Brian Duncombe started off the introductions, traveling out of his retirement to attend after he created performance and clustering software in the 1980s and '90s. Consultant Bruce Hobbs in his trademark beard was also on the front row, along with consultant Jim Snider. Then we caught up again with Michael Watson's introduction. Watson reported he's still developing in COBOL, as were several others on that front row.

HP was present in the back of the room, as support engineer Cathlene McRae attests at the end of the intros. After lunch, HP's Alvina Nishimoto sat in the back and offered some insights during a roundtable session of more than an hour. James Hofmeister, working in support of Linux customers for HP, was also on hand.

Some people in the community hope this Meet might gather as many users than vendors. At this stage of the 3000's legend, those are the same attendees. Putting people together in a room all day sparks plans and renews trust. As the evening winked out, a sketch was emerging for 2010 Meet that focuses on training.